Rare identical triplets born in U.K. beat long odds

Karen Gilbert gave birth to triplets conceived from a single fertilized egg.
Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com  |  Sept. 30, 2013 at 8:43 PM
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Ian and Karen Gilbert, of Pontypool, Wales, became pregnant with triplets while honeymooning in New York, but they had no idea that their daughters would come from a single egg, an medical anomaly that could have ended tragically.

"We were just very shocked," Karen told BBC News on Monday. "The risks were so high to me and the babies because they shared a placenta. There was the chance of twin-to-twin syndrome, where one baby can starve the other two babies of food and other fluids."

Ian told the Express that two hospitals offered to terminate the babies.

"But we couldn't consider termination - they were our babies," he said. "We were scanned every week to make sure they were growing fine."

The Gilberts, who already have a three-year-old daughter named Faye, welcomed three identical girl triplets last month. Ffion, Maddison and Paige, each born under 4 pounds, spent six weeks in intensive care before their parents took them home.

"They're that identical, it's scary," Karen said of the family's decision to keep name bands on the babies for now. "But their own personalities are starting to show. Maddison, for example, is the sleepy one and not really bothered, whereas Paige and Ffion are the nosy ones."

According to the Express, there was a 200 million-to-one chance that all three twins would be born healthy.

"The pregnancy has taken its toll," Karen said, "But now I'm taking my time to recover and get to know my three beautiful girls.

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